When the holidays come, we are all faced with needing a gift for that hard-to-buy-for person. Maybe it’s someone you don’t know personally, like your child’s favorite teacher, or an elderly neighbor. You may be wanting an alternative to the usual bottle of wine as a hostess gift. Or maybe you have a loved one with a green thumb on your gift list and you’re looking for the best gifts for gardeners to give.
There are lots of options during the holidays. There are plants specifically grown for the holiday market like poinsettias and Christmas cactus. A beautiful house plant can be given a holiday theme by adding holiday ornaments or holiday ribbon around the pot. The holiday trim can be removed after the holidays and the plant can be enjoyed for years to come. That’s the beauty of giving a growing plant—it potentially can live for years. Even if it only lasts for a couple of weeks, that is likely longer than a cut flower bouquet would have lasted.
If you know the person you are gifting is a gardener, another idea is to gift them with a seed starter kit. These come with everything needed to start seeds indoors. Add some packets of flower seeds or vegetable seeds, and they will be ready to grow after the holidays.
Here are some great plants to consider for your holiday gift-giving:
1. Poinsettias. Poinsettias are probably the plant most associated with Christmas, and they have come a long way from the traditional red flowers! Besides all shades of red, poinsettias come in white, pink, purple and blue. Now, there are poinsettias with red and white striped leaves and even red with white polka dots! They are available in all sizes, too, depending on your budget. The downfall of poinsettias is that they are so associated with the holidays that most people don’t keep them after the season is over. Actually, poinsettias can live for years with a little care. Note: Poinsettias are poisonous to cats, so go with a different plant if the person receiving the plant doesn’t have a place to put them away from their animals.
2. Succulents. Succulents are a great gift plant if you aren’t sure how experienced a gardener the recipient is. They are easy to grow and come in a variety of containers, including hanging planters.
3. Herbs. If your friend is a cook, they will appreciate a gift of growing herbs to use fresh in their cooking. Give a pot of their favorite herb or a windowsill garden of several herbs.
4. Pothos. Pothos is one of the easiest house plants to grow indoors. Pothos is a vining plant that is similar to philodendrons but even easier to grow. This plant can tolerate a little neglect and still look great. It can tolerate low light conditions in your home or apartment.
5. Ferns. A good choice for a gift plant is the Boston Fern. This plant is easy to grow and needs minimal care, other than consistent watering. They look beautiful as a specimen plant on a pedestal or mixed with other house plants. Boston Ferns are also popular as a hanging plant outdoors in the summer if you have a shady location. Then, bring them back in to enjoy as a houseplant when the weather turns cold.
6. Christmas Cactus. Christmas cactus is a traditional favorite at Christmas when the plant comes into bloom. The flowers are beautiful in colors that range from white to pinks to shades of red. These plants can live for decades with minimal care and will faithfully bloom right at Christmas every year.
7. Begonias. Consider flowering or colorful leaf plants that are typically planted outdoors in the shade garden in the summer. Many of these can be successfully grown indoors as a house plant. Begonias are a great choice and will even bloom in the middle of winter. Another good choice is coleus. The colorful leaves are prized in the shade garden in the summer, but they do great inside. An added benefit is that cuttings from one plant are easily rooted to give you even more plants.
8. Amaryllis. This flowering bulb is becoming increasingly popular as a plant for Christmas. These spectacular flowers come in a variety of colors and look great as a single flower or in a grouping.
9. Spring bulbs. A gift that includes a pot, planting medium and flower bulbs makes a great gift. Bulbs of paperwhites, crocus, tulips and daffodils are all good choices. Include directions on planting in the pot and how to later transplant out in the garden for years of springtime enjoyment.
Remember: Any plant can be a perfect gift. Just add a special container and note of your love and appreciation.